And that was Australia. If you’ve been with the Tour since stage 281 and have ridden them all, then you can quite legitimately lay claim to be the Wizard Of Oz. One hundred and fifty one stages since Around The World left Perth: 3,459 miles / 5,571 kilometres of distance coupled with 78,090 feet / 23,817 metres of climbing. Ipswich to Brisbane is an extremely challenging last stage: in writing this preview, I counted twenty five separate climbs with a similar number of descents. There are nine hundred feet of climbing on the stage with over a thousand of descent. Forget flat roads: this one’s a rollercoaster.
The rollout is downhill for just over a mile to the interchange with the A37: then there’s a short up/down before another lumpy descent drops down to cross the Bremer River just before five miles. Then it’s wibbly wobbly, both in elevation and direction, as the A33 tries its best to follow the extreme meanderings of what has now become the Brisbane River (it joined the Bremer River at Bremer junction, a mile north of the road at seven miles).
The road continues in a lumpy fashion in a big left hander past Richardson Park, Wolston Park Golf Club then Gailes Golf Club in quick succession before a snaking left/right combo takes the route past Pooh Corner Nature Refuge at thirteen miles. Wacol Station Road, which the route is now following, climbs steeply to Jamboree Heights at fifteen miles before descending equally spectacularly past Sinnamon Park and Jindalee Golf Club to cross the Brisbane River at seventeen miles.
Over the river, the route nips between Kenmore to the west and Fig Tree Pocket to the east before beginning a long right hander at the foot of Mount Coot-Tha. The bike path, which the road has now become, passes by Anzac Park at twenty two miles, having climbed almost two hundred feet from Chapel Hill to the Kookaburra Trail at the start of the right hander. Over the top at the Trail, the run in to the finish alongside the Brisbane River is thing of beauty and infinite joy: a hundred and fifty foot descent to wave goodbye to Australia.
Distance: 25 miles / 40 kilometres
Ascent: 978 feet / 298 metres
RGT Magic Road: ONMTHIN4SYX4
Max elevation: 157 ft
Min elevation: -1 ft
Total climbing: 977 ft
Total descent: -1123 ft
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